How To Get Over Your Crush?

by Cay L. Crow

three people taking notes on notepads at a desk in black and white

Dear Cay,

I have been happily married for 3 years. Everything is good, except for the first time in my marriage; I have a HUGE crush on a coworker. I've admired other men but haven't had these strong feelings before. Co-worker and I haven't spent a lot of time together. I'm not in love with this guy, although I think that the attraction is mutual. I don't think there's anything wrong in my marriage - another reason that I'm freaked out because it's not like I'm looking for someone to fill a gap in my relationship, so why do I have this urge to cheat? Its mostly just attraction to this guy whom I really like (but whom I wouldn't choose over my husband). Why do I feel this way? Does it mean that I don't love my husband enough?

Is Having A Crush On Someone Else Cheating?

I honestly don't think that I would cheat, even if I had the opportunity. And I know that if I just avoid him that will prevent me from doing something stupid in the heat of the moment. But the problem is twofold: one, I can't get this person out of my head. I dream about him nightly and desperately want to spend time with him. Second, he's leaving work soon and I'll never see him again, which is good, except that I am getting sadder as his time to go approaches. It's not like I'm going to "go for it" or anything, but I need advice on how to get over him. Signed, Confused Crush

Is It Normal To Dream About Someone Else While Married?

Dear Confused Crush:

I hear lots of contradictions in your letter, which tells me that you do not have much objectivity when it comes to the coworker. This is a classic symptom of a crush, a temporary infatuation with someone you have idealized. This crush has nothing to do with how much you love your husband or how much you love him. Crushes are common whether someone is married, in a relationship or single.

A crush is about possibility, the unrealized potential in a new relationship. You know the feeling; butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, heart racing, etc. Much like the honeymoon phase of a relationship, your brain is flooded with neurochemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine that create this excitement. It is easy to become infatuated with the rush of novelty when are living in quotidian sameness. And it is even more tempting to have the entire relationship in your mind before anything unpleasant happens in reality. This is especially common for women, to create a story around a crush that resembles a fairy tale with all the features that women find so compelling. Let me guess; in the dreams or fantasies about this person, other women find him attractive but he only has eyes for you. The movie you create in your mind plays out with everything you want in a partner.

Should I Tell My Partner That I Have A Crush On Someone Else?

If you have good communication with your husband I suggest that you tell him about the crush. Not to make him jealous or to create drama in the relationship but in order to demonstrate your faith in the marriage. Talking with your husband may quell the crush itself or remove the exciting subterfuge that often draws people into affairs. Who knows? Maybe your husband will be open to using this crush as fantasy material during sex. Many men find the idea (not the reality) of their wife being with another man exciting. The sadness you feel is a normal let down after the thrilling, idealized possibilities of a crush. Just remember that your sadness is not for the loss of a relationship but the loss of the fantasy.

CAY L. CROW, LPC, AASECT-CERTIFIED SEX THERAPIST

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